As Savannah Ré eagerly awaits her latest EP, she looks back to her Scarborough roots


Savannah Ré is always on the move, always looking to the future.

Since releasing her debut EP “Opia” in 2020, she won a 2021 Juno Award for “Solid” as Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year and a nomination for Contemporary R&B/Soul Recording of the Year. year for “Where You Are .” This year, she again won Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for her single “24hrs.” In 2017, she released a series of singles that had listeners asking for more.

At the mention of the accolades accumulated in his flourishing career, Ré was coy. Each mentioned award was greeted with a slight squirm and leaned back in her chair, while a smile continued to beam across her face.

“I don’t know. He’s so weird. I’m a very forward-looking artist, but if somebody doesn’t say it, I won’t say it,” she said. the way I am, I think it’s cool though. Like I’m not the type of person where something big happens and I’m like, ‘OK, I can relax.’ I’m like, ‘Nah, that means we have to overtake. We have to work even harder.

Sitting in a high room at Universal Music Canada’s headquarters in Toronto, dressed in a cream-colored tracksuit, snow-capped Air Force 1s and pressed-silk braids, Ré is once again eagerly awaiting the reception of her latest “No Weapons” EP, which dropped Friday. It’s a six-song taste tester that’s packed with new sounds.

“People want me to rap so badly. I think it’s just because of (of) my talking voice and, like, Scarborough’s demeanor. I’m like, I can’t rap guys, but I’m definitely exploring more,” Re said.

Ré sat down with the Star to talk about Toronto, Jamaican food, her pup, Milo, and how Scarborough made her the entertainer she is today.

On this particular project, there are new, more tropical sounds. The first track I wondered, is she rapping? Is this finally happening?

I consider myself an R&B singer, but even in the way I approach R&B music, there’s a lot more to it, like cadences and flows, and I know that’s what gives people that impression. I want to lean into that a bit more so on this one like you said there’s more spice and tropical stuff but there’s also a bit more I would say stuff hip hop. I am Jamaican and also from Scarborough. It’s like these things are embedded in me, it’s a part of me.

So, what are the things you miss when you’re on tour?

I love to travel, but I also love my bed. So there is this. But I miss my puppy too. I got it the last time I went on tour with Jessie Reyez. But we also travel a lot and I’m always, like, FaceTiming my dog. And people might think that’s corny, but dog lovers know that, people with puppies know that. Now he’s my son!

What is his name?

Milo. He’s a small toy poodle, like seven pounds, but he’s such a big personality.

Have you ever felt this need to represent where you come from, especially given your success?

I made it a mission. I think, like, no shade or tea to anybody, but sometimes when people get along as a Canadian artist, it’s like they’re almost ashamed to say they’re Canadian. I’m like Toronto. Scarborough. If I could wear it all the time, I’d wear, like, a Blue Jays jersey. I’m so proud to be where I come from. And sometimes I’ll be the first Canadian they meet, right? So, I’m going to say, ‘OK, cool, let me tell you about it’, you know? Always reppin’.

When you return from a trip, what is the first place you return to to rediscover the city?

I’m spoiled. I like to come home for my mom to cook my mom’s food. Otherwise, at Chubby. I love Chubby’s. This is a Jamaican restaurant in town.

I’m Jamaican too. What is your favorite food ?

Breakfast? Hominy. Best meal ever? Oxtail, white rice and plantain. I love all types of food, but Jamaican oxtail is it.

What kind of influence has the city had on you as an artist or in your music?

Scarborough was like a melting pot when I grew up. Like, there were just all ethnicities around. There is a mosque on the corner, there is a church next to it. Everybody was just growing up together… So part of the reason I think a lot of people think I should rap is because when you meet me (it seems) I’m just, like, tough. But I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s how I move around the world. It’s the way I write music and my behavior.

Paying attention to the landscape and Scarborough, you see Boi-1da, The Weeknd, even historically, Deborah Cox. What does it mean to you to be part of this legacy, this explosion that’s happening?

It’s crazy. And it’s not lost on me. And, you know, Scarborough isn’t that big and to have, like, these huge talents in front of me, I have to make sure I strap on those shoes and get there. I really want to go all the way and also have the support of a lot of these people, it’s crazy. Deborah Cox is so sweet and I’ve had the pleasure of working with her before, and I’m signed to Boi-1da. It’s as if I already had the stamp of Scarborough.

When you were working on this project, was there a specific person you could lean on or mentor you as you went through it?

1da, 100 percent. I run everything pass 1da. He’s a tough sell whether you’re signed to him or not, like, if it’s not fire. But also just directionally, he’s someone who’s worked on, you know, projects and diamond records. So I like to have his opinion on where things are.

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